Despite being unhappy with his role as a third scoring option, Carmelo Anthony still chose to opt into the final year of his contract to stay with Russell Westbrook and Paul George in the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The 6-foot-8, 220-pounder averaged 21.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and a career-best 2.0 steals this past season with the Thunder.
While Westbrook's reason to throw the party is apparently unknown, the guest list certainly seems to suggest the Thunder are using the opportunity to woo George.
George committed to remain with the Thunder, according to multiple media reports.
Last year, Gordon Hayward, perhaps the biggest name free agent available, waited until 4th July before making a decision to join the Boston Celtics. But there are at least three other teams - and maybe an outsider or two - with legitimate shots at landing James, who made it clear following this year's NBA Finals that he's still driven to win championships. At 12:01 a.m. Sunday, James will be an unrestricted free agent, and agent Rich Paul is expected to contact several teams with the Lakers and Cavs atop his list.
As OKC general manager Sam Presti noted in his draft news conference, Thunder officials have been in communication with George and his representatives since the end of the season. ESPN reported he is signing a four-year deal that will be worth $160 million. The Thunder have a good big man in Steven Adams.
If George opts to do this, the full scope of his commitment to Oklahoma City could end up being for seven years and almost $300 million.
The latest in free agency news is that Paul George won't be leaving behind the Oklahoma City Thunder squad this year.
So while bringing back George and potentially Grant would ensure the Thunder keep their core intact, it likely means more moves are coming to mitigate what could be a historic luxury-tax bill.
But Lakers fans were not happy with George's snub.
Paul George was considered one of the most talented and unpredictable free agents of 2018.
Day 1 of National Basketball Association free agency was not lacking for fireworks or firepower, led by James' decision to leave Cleveland for a second time and join the Los Angeles Lakers.
Beyond that, the Thunder would likely have to trade rotation players to save money next season.